Monthly Archives: October 2014

What has the past taught you about living today

It’s that time again to link up with The Fit Switch and Jill Conyers.  I love linking up with them and discussing various topics every week. This week our topic is: What has the past taught you about living today?

lessons

  1. Dream big and never give up– In order to succeed we must set goals.  Success doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes hard work and determination.  Many people give up too quickly and never reach their full potential.
  2. Always have a positive attitude– People with a positive attitude have great energy and seem happier in general. Positive people also have lots of friends because they are fun to be around! Having a positive attitude will also help you deal with a negative situation a little better.
  3. Learn how to indulge a little(with food)– It has taken me quite some time to learn how to eat clean.  I used to feel guilty when I would have my cheat meals.  Indulging a little here and there will not make a difference.  There are healthy dessert recipes  you can make when that sweet tooth craving hits. We all need our cheat meals in order to stay sane.
  4. Be thankful for the moment you are in now– Don’t worry about the past or future. Worrying does nothing for us and it’s a waste of time.  It just fills our head with negative thoughts and doesn’t change a thing.

What are some of your life lessons??

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Thirsty Thursday – Infused Water Recipes

Drinking water on a daily basis is vital for our health and well being. Most people don’t drink enough water (including me) because plain water can get boring.  One way to make drinking water fun is to create infused water.  What is infused water?  It’s when fruits, vegetables and herbs fuse together with water. This is the perfect substitute for sugar drinks when those cravings hit.

Proper hydration is the key to weight loss.  It is recommended that we drink 8 (8 ounce ) glasses of water per day( as a general rule). Water helps to flush out all of the toxins and contaminants we have in our body.  Drinking water 30 minutes before you eat will make you feel less hungry.  This will decrease your calorie intake which will eventually contribute to weight loss.

I have recently started drinking more infused water to make sure I stay properly hydrated all day long.  It is very easy and quick to make infused water.  All you have to do is cut your fruit and vegetable into pieces and put them into your pitcher of water.  You can add most herbs whole, there is no need to cut them into pieces.  I like to let the infused water sit in the fridge for a few hours so the flavor can seep in. Studies have shown that drinking cold water burns more calories than drinking room temperature water.  I usually make a new batch of water every 3-5 days to keep everything fresh.

 

Strawberry and Mint Infused Water

Strawberry and Mint Infused Water

How to avoid candy overdose on Halloween

I love participating in the dish fit link up every week with the Fit Switch.  This week’s topic is:  How will you avoid candy overdose on Halloween?

I love this time of the year, starting with Halloween. This will be my daughters first Halloween.  My husband and I went back and forth on costumes and we finally decided on a bumblebee. J  Even though Halloween Is fun for the kids I always think about all of the candy and junk food kids receive on that day.  I haven’t been trick or treating in years but I have been giving out candy for a while.  I usually don’t buy took much candy to give out because I don’t want to be left with extra candy at the end of the night.  How am I going to stay away from candy this year since we are going out trick or treating with my daughter? I do believe in moderation and not complete deprivation.  I plan to have a few pieces on Halloween as a treat.  I don’t want to have a binge consumption of candy.  I have a few things planned on how to avoid binging on candy:

I will make sure I eat a full dinner before going trick or treating. If I am full I will not want to eat a lot of candy. Sometimes when we are hungry we will eat whatever is in sight to satisfy our hunger.

I plan on buying candy a day or two before Halloween and I usually don’t buy candy that I like (chocolate) so I’m not tempted to overload on it.  If it’s in the house for a long period of time I will be tempted to eat it.  I actually never keep any type of unhealthy dessert in the house.  I have found a few healthy dessert recipes for when that sweet tooth craving hits.  Check out my post on Healthy dessert recipes.

We tend to associate Halloween candy with our childhood and our carefree youth.  Instead we should think of candy as unhealthy foods that will raise our blood sugar.  This is actually something I have done within the last few years to resist any type of unhealthy foods.

The last thing I will do is make sure it’s not in the house the next day.  I will give whatever candy is left in the house to my husband to take to work the next day. Out of sight, out of mind.  If I don’t see it in the house, I will not think about it and want it.

How will you avoid a candy overdose this year?

Image from B-moviestar.com

Image from B-moviestar.com

Guest Post- Protein spice mug cake

We have a great recipe for Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake from Rachel, just in time for fall! Rachel is a 30 year old stay-at-home mom of one. She is a health and fitness enthusiast with a love for bodybuilding, running and barre classes. She has a passion for strong coffee, peanut butter and sneakers. If she’s not in the gym or out for a run you can find her spending time with her thirteen-month old son, Lucas amazing husband of six years, Brian and their dog Berklee. Rachael loves to travel to new and exciting places and is always up for the next adventure. She is currently studying for her ACE Personal Training certification and her nutritional sciences degree. Her focus is on postpartum and female health and wellness. You can find out more about Rachael on her websiteDiapers & Dumbbells (www.rachaelnovello.com), Twitter (@RachaelNovello), Instagram (@RaichaelKatherine) or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DiapersandDumbells). 

I don’t know about you but typically when this time of year rolls around, when the days are shorter and the weather starts to cool, I start going into hibernation mode. I know I have a minimum of four months ahead of oversized sweaters, holiday parties and dinners filled with my favorite comfort foods. One thing that I love more than anything in the fall, as many people do, is all things pumpkin! From pumpkin spiced lattes, to pasta dishes and donuts there is something about biting into that sweet and savory flavor that just puts me in an autumn mood.

Thanksgiving is a huge holiday in my house. My mother has been hosting it for about ten years now and there is usually anywhere from 10 to 40 (yes forty) people there. We have a delicious buffet filled with all the standard foods followed by an even more decadent buffet of delicious desserts. Each year our family friend Judy brings a pumpkin cheesecake that is to die-for! I dream about that dessert in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, as desserts go, there isn’t a single “healthy” one on the menu. Everything is rich, dense and albeit amazing – really not good for the waistline. I’ve tried my fair share of “diet” desserts in the past but haven’t ever found one that really does the trick until recently.

One of my dear friends and fellow fitness lovers came up with a handful of really quite tasty and easy-to-make dessert recipes. I’ve tried a handful of them and am continually surprised at the flavor. You would never know you were eating something healthy! Recently she came up with a mug-cake recipe that I took and adapted to my never-ending pumpkin obsession!

I knew it was a winner when my thirteen month old son couldn’t get enough of it!! One of the best things about this recipe is that it makes ONE single serving. There are no leftovers to taunt me from the fridge! It’s one that you can make on a whim when you need something to calm your sweet-tooth but when you’re done eating it there’s no guilt or dessert-hangover to deal with!

From my Fit Family to Yours — Bon Appetit!

I don’t know about you but typically when this time of year rolls around, when the days are shorter and the weather starts to cool, I start going into hibernation mode. I know I have a minimum of four months ahead of oversized sweaters, holiday parties and dinners filled with my favorite comfort foods. One thing that I love more than anything in the fall, as many people do, is all things pumpkin! From pumpkin spiced lattes, to pasta dishes and donuts there is something about biting into that sweet and savory flavor that just puts me in an autumn mood.

Thanksgiving is a huge holiday in my house. My mother has been hosting it for about ten years now and there is usually anywhere from 10 to 40 (yes forty) people there. We have a delicious buffet filled with all the standard foods followed by an even more decadent buffet of delicious desserts. Each year our family friend Judy brings a pumpkin cheesecake that is to die-for! I dream about that dessert in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, as desserts go, there isn’t a single “healthy” one on the menu. Everything is rich, dense and albeit amazing – really not good for the waistline. I’ve tried my fair share of “diet” desserts in the past but haven’t ever found one that really does the trick until recently.

One of my dear friends and fellow fitness lovers came up with a handful of really quite tasty and easy-to-make dessert recipes. I’ve tried a handful of them and am continually surprised at the flavor. You would never know you were eating something healthy! Recently she came up with a mug-cake recipe that I took and adapted to my never-ending pumpkin obsession!

I knew it was a winner when my thirteen month old son couldn’t get enough of it!! One of the best things about this recipe is that it makes ONE single serving. There are no leftovers to taunt me from the fridge! It’s one that you can make on a whim when you need something to calm your sweet-tooth but when you’re done eating it there’s no guilt or dessert-hangover to deal with!

From my Fit Family to Yours — Bon Appetit!

Protein Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 2 tbls Coconut Flour
  • 5 tsp (7g) Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ¼ cup Pumpkin Pie filling (puree)
  • 2 tbls fat free Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 3 tbls liquid egg whites
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 2 tbls fat free cream cheese
  • 1 tsp (5g) fat free, sugar free Cheesecake Pudding Mix
  • 2 tbls fat free Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie filling

Directions

For the Cake:

  • In a small bowl mix together the dry ingredients, then whisk in the wet ingredients – mix until well combined.
  • Spray a small bowl or coffee mug with non-stick spray such as PAM
  • Pour the cake batter into the mug and let sit for 2-3 minutes to settle
  • Microwave for 2:20 minutes stopping at 30 second intervals to check on firmness. Depending on your microwave’s power it might take more or less time to cook through.
  • Remove the cake from the mug and while it’s cooling make the frosting.

For the Frosting:

  • Mix all ingredients together until smooth

To Assemble:

  • Slice mug-cake in half and spread frosting on both sides
  • Top with some festive fall sprinkles and enjoy!

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Thursday’s Dinner Recipe

We got back late Monday night from DC and I did not have any time to meal prep for the week.  That doesn’t mean that I have to eat unhealthy.  It has definitely been a challenge all week to eat healthy because I did not have the meals prepared beforehand.  Lucky, I have been able to keep up with my nutrition.

Tonight we had a sweet baked potato, chicken and broccoli.  It was very simple, easy and quick to cook.  I also used very few ingredients for this meal.

Sweet potato (baked):

  • Make a vertical slit in the potato
  • Place in the microwave for about 10-15 min
  • Place following toppings on Potato: guacamole, cilantro, picante sauce and nutritional yeast (adjust amount to your desired taste)

Chicken:

  • Make slits in chicken
  • Sprinkle flavor god seasoning (spicy and everything) on chicken
  • Squeeze 1 lemon on chicken and rub with hands
  • Let chicken mixture marinade in fridge for about 2-3 hrs
  • Cook on stovetop until meat is fully done
  • I don’t use oil but you can use a little coconut oil

The broccoli is steamed and I added the flavor god seasonings after it was cooked.  I also added a few sweet peppers.  This is one of my favorite meals to make because its healthy, delicious and quick.

What are some of your healthy dinner recipes? Let me know in the comments below.

potato

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Guest Post- Chocolate Raspberry Snack Bites

Lauren has a very delicious and simple healthy dessert recipe for us.  Lauren is a blogger, triathlete and half marathoner balancing the perks of living a healthy lifestyle with a full-time marketing job. She enjoys creating healthy versions of her favorite recipes, drinking green juice, and wandering the farmers market when she’s not training for the next race.

guest

Hi everyone!

This is Lauren from Lauren Lives Healthy! I’m a CA girl on a journey to choose healthy, with lots of training for triathlons and running races and eating… lots of eating.

Since starting a healthy journey, I found that I’m always hungry.  I’ve learned that it’s best to give in and eat when you want, but healthily! Eating regularly keeps your metabolism up, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day. When that happens, you lose weight and keep your body at its optimum energy levels. See? Eating a lot isn’t bad for you – if you make healthy choices!

I created these chocolate raspberry snack bites as a sweet treat to enjoy that are lower in calories and fat than your normal snack might be. Whip ‘em up in just a few minutes and snack on them as you’re working. All you need is raspberries with dark chocolate and you’re good to go. A match made in heaven!

All you have to do is stuff one chocolate chip into each raspberry. That’s it. Easy peasy! Keep this in mind for your next snack and you’ll be good to go.

What are your quick and healthy snacks? I’d love to hear! Reach out on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and let me know. Feel free to stop by Lauren Lives Healthy and say hi!

Xo Lauren

Chocolate Raspberry Snack Bites

Chocolate Raspberry Snack Bites 1

Weakest link in healthy living

My weakest link in healthy living

I feel like I live a healthy life, I eat clean 90% of the time and I work out 5-6 days a week.  As we know, nobody is perfect and there is something that I would like to improve on.  When I wake up with my baby at 3 am I fell hungry.  Eating that late at night at night is never good.  Sometimes I will eat granola cereal or some nuts.  Although I do not do this every night, it does add up and it is preventing me from reaching my fitness goals.

There are some ways to help curb your cravings at night.  I have started implementing them and they are working.  I don’t think I was eating enough during the day because I am so busy with my baby.  I have made an effort to eat more during the day and to make sure I’m eating nutritious food.  I also try to eat a little more for dinner.  Not necessarily more carbs, but I eat more protein and vegetables.  This is working and it is keeping me full during the night.  When I wake up to feed my baby, I am not hungry.  Eating regularly throughout the day keeps your blood sugar levels stable, keeps your metabolism going and it also reduces late night cravings.

I used to buy unhealthy food from time to time for my occasional splurges.  Unfortunately I was starting to eat that late at night and I knew it was going to lead to trouble.  I don’t keep any unhealthy foods in the house anymore.  My husband and I go out to restaurants if we feel like splurging a little. “Out of sight, out of mind.”

I think I would eat late at night because I would get bored because I was not able to go back to sleep. I would just make an effort not to eat and just go back into bed and sleep.  I would fall asleep right away.  That means I was not hungry, just bored.  Many people eat out of boredom when they are not really hungry.

I have been implementing this strategy for almost two weeks and it has been working so far.  I am getting closer to reaching my fitness goals and that is making me very happy.  Late night eating has always been a problem for me but I think I finally have it under control.

I love participating in the fit pepper and fit switch link up every week.  This is a great way to meet fellow bloggers and to get some nutritional and fitness tips. Check out their pages for information on the link up!

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The steps I use for meal prepping

I love to eat clean with the occasional splurge from time to time.  I eat clean about 95% of the time.  How do I do this?  I follow a very simple mantra.  “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”  Meal prepping saves me from grabbing any type of junk food or basically anything unhealthy.  I would much rather choose something clean and healthy over junk food.  Also, at the end of the day when I’m tired, the last thing I want to do is cook and spend time in the kitchen.  I would rather spend time with my little girl than spend time cooking.  I follow the same meal prepping routine every weekend (most of the time) :

  1. I go to the grocery store on Saturday or Sunday morning.  I make sure I stick to my list and I don’t deviate from the list.  A good tip is not to go to the grocery store hungry because if you do, you will want to buy everything in sight!
  2. Sunday afternoons is usually my time to meal prep (while my husband spends time with our little girl). This usually takes me about 2-3 hours but it is worth it at the end of the day. First I cook the meat (usually chicken).  First I make slits in the chicken then I use flavor god spices and sometimes squeeze fresh orange juice on the chicken.  I put the chicken in the fridge and let it marinade for about an hour.
  3. While the chicken is marinating I cook the veggies. I wash and cut the veggies, chop onions and bell peppers.  I mix everything with coconut oil, little salt and lots of black pepper.  I put that mixture aside.
  4. I take the chicken out of the fridge and mix the chicken with the spices one last time. Then I put it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 min. I cover the pan with foil so the meat does not dry out.
  5. After the chicken is done, I cover the veggies and put it in the oven for about 20 min. I like the veggies on the softer side so if they are still hard after 20 min I will put them back in the oven.
  6. My husband and I usually eat ezeickel tortilla with our dinner so I don’t have to make any carbs beforehand. Occasionally we eat brown rice but that’s not a big deal because it takes 20 minutes to cook in the pressure cooker.
  7. Lastly, I have to clean the dishes, the worst part of meal prepping. I try to clean up as I go along but I still end up with a lot of dishes.  This only takes me about 15-20 minutes.
  8. Most people portion out their meals into container but I don’t do that. I don’t measure my food or count calories.  I just eat until I’m full and satisfied.  We are all different so counting calories and measuring food might work for some people.  I have tried it before and it just doesn’t work for me.  Instead I just put my food in huge containers and most of the time it will last us for about 3-4 days.

I have been meal prepping for a little over a year and I love it.  It also eliminates the decision making every night of what I should make for dinner. If you are the type person that likes different types of food every night you can still do meal prepping.  You can make a variety of food but in smaller quantities.

My chicken that I cooked for the week.  Very flavorful! :)

My chicken that I cooked for the week. Very flavorful! 🙂

What are some of the things you do on your meal prep days?  I would love to hear it!

How I fit in my exercise with my busy schedule

We all have busy lives between family, work, friends and running errands. Since we have to make an appointment to see the Dr or meet with friends we should do the same for a workout.  We should schedule a specific time during the day for our workouts.  I have to schedule my workouts around my baby’s naptime.  She usually sleeps for about 2 hours during lunchtime.  During these two hours I exercise to a 30 min high intensity exercise DVD.  This is a very intense 30 minute workout that has given me great results after having my baby.  I have to do things that will get me the maximum results within a short amount of time.  I need a short workout because I need to do other things around the house with these two hours.  If I miss this time to workout, I could try to o it in the afternoon but it most likely will not happen.  I get very tired in the evening and I get busy with my baby.  It is different for every baby and mother.  You should do whatever works for you and your baby.

It was a little difficult for me at first but now I have a good routine. As soon as my daughter does down for her nap, I literally drop what I’m doing and start my workout.  It feels odd if I don’t workout in the morning while she is napping because it is something that I have gotten used to every morning.  We have done on vacation twice since my baby was born.  I was able to keep my same routine while on vacation.  I take my DVD with me on vacation and I can workout on vacation when my baby is napping!

Most importantly, I exercise and eat healthy so I can stay strong for my baby girl. I try to stay fit so I can keep up with her and stay active during the day.  All new mothers know how tiring (and fun) it is t have a new baby. I honestly think I am not having very much trouble keeping up with my baby because I take care of myself by exercising 5- 6 days a week and I’m eating clean.

Everybody (with or without children) should incorporate some type of exercise in their daily activities. You can start slow with light jogging around the block and join people in fitness challenges/bootcamps. I would rather workout at home as opposed to going to the gym.  I prefer this because something could possibly happen to prevent you from leaving the house and going to the gym.

Check out what the Fit Pepper does to fit in her healthy eating during the day.

What do you do to stay on track with nutrition and fitness?